What is the Heart Icon on Instagram?

Instagram is a social media platform with the most heart icons. Is it a place of love and caring, or is this heart trend a little oversaturated? Instead of likes and thumbs up, on Instagram, you can “heart” somebody’s posts, send them “heart” messages, or “heart” their comments.

What is the Heart Icon on Instagram?

The heart symbol is not something Instagram invented, and it has been used on the internet for many years, primarily by typing out the less-than sign followed by the number three (<3). Nowadays, everyone gets surrounded by emojis, and hearts are probably the most commonly used ones.

Read on and find out all about heart icons on Instagram, what they represent, and what you can achieve with them.

1. The Instagram Feed Heart Icon

The first heart icon you see on Instagram is the one on your feed. Anytime you launch the Instagram app, you find a heart icon in the top right corner, next to your Direct Messages. Tapping the heart icon leads to the “Activity” page.

When you tap on it, you see all the likes on your posts by your friends and followers, any comments or posts you got tagged in, any replies to comments you made, and who followed you.

You also see “follow” requests at the top when your profile is set to private.

All the above notifications get viewed by tapping on that activity “heart” icon at the top of the home page.

That particular heart icon on Instagram sticks out the most. It is a very transparent and neat feature that keeps all your social interactions on Instagram in one place.

So, what’s the next Instagram Heart Icon? Keep reading.

2. Instagram Comment Heart Icon

The second “heart” icon found on Instagram appears beside every comment underneath each photo and video. Tap on the heart to serve as a “Like.” If you want to like your comment for whatever reason, you can do that too. The “heart” button appears to the right of your comment, and the number of likes received appears below that.

Finally, you can like posts from other people on Instagram by tapping on the heart icon below the post or double-tapping the photo/video.

3. Instagram Direct Message Heart Icon

The heart icon on Instagram that gets a lot of hate (pun intended) is the one used in the Direct Message portion of the app. To like someone’s direct message, double-tap the individual message. People complain about sending accidental hearts to total strangers, their crushes, or even worse, their exes because there is no “Undo” button if you accidentally “heart” someone’s message!

To avoid any confusion, Instagram initially had a heart icon in the bottom-right part of the Direct Message screen. Thankfully, Instagram listened to the many complaints and changed this some time ago. Now, you see a sticker icon where there used to be a heart. You can still send a “heart” to someone this way, but you need to tap on it twice rather than once.

ig stickers

The infamous heart is still the first on the list of stickers, but this change made it much less infuriating. People get spared from embarrassing themselves due to an accidental tap on that heart icon. If this has happened to you before, you know how bad it was.


In closing, “heart” emojis and symbols had existed for a long time on the internet before Instagram adopted them, as previously mentioned. Regardless, they will continue to survive on the internet even if Instagram doesn’t. They are an essential part of social interaction over the web, and people love sending them.

As for Instagram, nobody likes sending anything by mistake, and sending an unintended heart is probably among the most awkward things you could do on social media. At least now, you won’t accidentally send a “heart,” and you can use them for more than one purpose: the feed, comments, and direct messages.

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